But if I write what my soul thinks,
then it will be visible,
and the words will be its body.
– The Words of Hellen Keller as relayed by Annie Sullivan, 1891
This week, as we continue to wander through the Lenten Wilderness together & through our writing, we examine our lives through the lens of Cultural Touchstones.
Cultural Touchstone: Music
Make a list of your top 5 songs (pieces of music) that represent a meaningful or important time in your life. Pick one song – ZOOM IN – write about it (or list about it). Who were the important people in your life at that time? Where were you? What did you believe? What did you feel? (drawn from Nick Hornby’s bestselling novel About a Boy.)
Cultural Touchstone: Literature
Make a list of the important books in your life at different stages: teenager, 20’s… 50’s, 70’s. ZOOM in & write or describe as recommended for key music, above. Consult Ann Fadimon’s Ex Libris & Nancy Malone’s Walking a Literary Labyrinth.
Cultural Touchstone: Visual Art
Identify a work of art that is meaningful to you, or that resonates with you. ZOOM in – list people, beliefs that were important to you at this time, or just start writing as the spirit moves you. Consider Henri Nouwen’s Return of the Prodigal Son, and the way in which the Rembrandt painting by the same name influenced his life.
Resources Used in Class
- Writing Alone & with Others, Pat Schneider
- Old Friend from Far Away, Natalie Goldberg
- Bird by Bird, Anne Lamott
- Something Permanent, Cynthia Rylant
- About a Boy, Nick Hornby
- Nancy Malone’s Walking a Literary Labyrinth
- Henri Nouwen’s Return of the Prodigal Son
- William Stafford’s Even in Quiet Places
- Ann Fadimon’s Ex Libris
Assignment for the Week of March 17
This week, please write at least 10 minutes and more if possible. Next week, the theme of our class will be “Re-Reading”. Please bring a piece of writing to share and work on. We will be learning techniques for revising your written work. This class will be especially important for those who wish to make their writing public.